Michelle Makori, Lead Anchor and Editor-in-Chief at Kitco News, recently interviewed Mike Belshe, CEO of BitGo, during Consensus 2024 in Austin, Texas. Belshe shared his predictions and insights on Bitcoin’s price trajectory, institutional adoption, and the macroeconomic factors influencing the cryptocurrency market.

Bitcoin’s Price Prediction

Mike Belshe predicts that Bitcoin’s price will top $125,000 by the end of 2024. Belshe explains that this surge will be driven by a combination of macroeconomic factors and increasing institutional demand. He emphasizes that despite the initial volatility following the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs, institutional investments have been slow but are starting to gain momentum.

Institutional Adoption

Belshe estimates that currently, only about 5% of institutional money is invested in Bitcoin. He attributes this slow uptake to the cautious and methodical approach of large institutions, which typically involve extensive committees and evaluation processes. Belshe notes that as these processes conclude, more institutional money will flow into Bitcoin, significantly boosting its price.

Fiat Debasement and Bitcoin’s Role

Belshe points out that we are witnessing fiat debasement on steroids, which he believes is a primary reason for Bitcoin’s existence and its continued performance as a top asset. He stresses that the US debt is uncontrollable and that the government will continue to print more money, leading to the devaluation of the dollar. According to Belshe, “Your dollar is going down. My dollar is going down. Get off the dollar.” He argues that Bitcoin is a hedge against this devaluation and will continue to rise in value as more people and institutions seek alternatives to fiat currencies.

The Impact of Spot Bitcoin ETFs

The approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs has been a significant milestone. Belshe highlights that these ETFs make it easier for institutions to invest in Bitcoin without facing the complexities of direct ownership. He also notes that the early demand for these ETFs has been primarily retail-driven, but institutional interest is starting to pick up. Belshe expects this trend to accelerate, leading to substantial inflows of institutional capital into Bitcoin.

Future Demand for Spot Bitcoin and Ether ETFs

Belshe also discusses the future demand for both spot Bitcoin and spot Ether ETFs. He predicts that Ethereum ETFs will take a bit longer to gain full approval but will eventually succeed. He anticipates that the approval of Ethereum ETFs will further validate the cryptocurrency market and attract more institutional investors.

Macro and Political Influences

Belshe elaborates on the macroeconomic backdrop, emphasizing that the US’s foreign policy and sanctions controls are driving global entities to seek alternatives to the dollar. He mentions that the BRICS nations are working on alternative payment systems, which could diminish the dollar’s dominance. Additionally, digital technologies are enabling seamless cross-border payments, further eroding the need for traditional financial intermediaries.

Regulatory and Political Climate

Belshe expresses concerns about the politicization of financial regulations, particularly in the context of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. He points out that political motivations have influenced regulatory decisions, such as the sudden approval of spot Ether ETFs. Belshe believes that both major political parties should recognize the value of Bitcoin and digital assets for innovation and economic stability.

Ethereum’s Potential and Market Dynamics

Regarding Ethereum, Belshe is optimistic about its potential as a smart contract platform. However, he differentiates its role from that of Bitcoin, viewing Ethereum as more suited for building decentralized applications rather than as a store of value. He also discusses the implications of staking rewards and the potential emergence of two classes of Ether: staked and non-staked, each with different valuations.

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